By Troy Wilde
June 22, 2016
Tucson, AZ – Erik Heet grew up about midway between Phoenix and Tucson and plans to use his education to pursue a business career in one those cities.
Erik is 21 and pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at the University of Arizona, “My economics degree is going to be very, very versatile. So I could just work in an office somewhere, I could work in a hospital or I may do some consulting. I’m going to use my education to pursue some type of job in the business world and work a few years, and then hopefully go back and get a master’s degree in either economics or accounting.”
Erik who was raised in Coolidge and graduated from Coolidge High School, recalls a happy childhood, “It was kind of quiet but a lot of fun. Coolidge is small and you get to know everyone and it’s a very, very close-knit community.”
Erik says attending college has been a growing experience, “I would definitely say that it’s matured me. It’s allowed me to live on my own a lot more and not rely on parents or friends, or teachers to find answers to problems. I just became a lot more resourceful, learning to utilize certain things better than if I had stayed home and never left for college.”
Erik says he’s networking and establishing contacts now that could help in the future, “We have a lot of career fairs where I go and explore and talk with different companies. I have some contacts out there now and I feel a lot better than when I was coming into college – I had no idea where I was going but networking around the university has certainly helped.”
He adds that his biggest college challenge was, “Changing my major. I was an engineering student and grew to not like it so much and I wanted to make a change to economics and business, which I eventually ended up doing. The real challenge was playing catch-up for two years and taking a lot more units than I should have.”
Eirk earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. As part of the scholarship, students also receive specialized mentoring services from Success Advisers, or mentors, who help them overcome both personal and academic challenges.
Erik says College Success Arizona has been a big help, “Financially it’s helped me tremendously. It’s helped me avoid student debt completely. I haven’t taken any loans out in four years. As far as the advisers go, they’ve been a ton of help. They’ve helped me through changing my major and they helped me make decisions about which classes I should take. Any possible question I could ever have, they had an answer.”
Erik encourages middle and high school students in Coolidge and elsewhere to pursue their college goals:
“Do it! Pursue your dreams. Be the best at whatever you choose to be whether you want to be an account, a lawyer or an astronaut. It’s worth taking the risk even if you accrue debt or any sort of problems that come along with college – they’re worth it in the end.”
Outside of school, Erik enjoys sports, “I love sports, all kinds of sports. I think we went to all of the basketball games at the U of A this year. My favorite hobby would have to be swimming. I actually coach the swim team here in Coolidge during the summers.”